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To learn how 5G will work with Opengear devices to make organizations resilient, I talked to Carrier Sales Manager, Todd Atherton.

Why would a customer want to use 5G?

5G will replace 4G technology. It’s more efficient, faster and has better signal strength. There is a need for something better than 4G because of how crowded that cellular band is getting – there are currently millions of devices operating on 4G, and more are being added every day. With this “overcrowding” there’s the need for something that is capable of handling all of those devices, that need is fulfilled by 5G.

What’s the difference between 5G and 4G?

Previous generations, like 3G, were a breakthrough in communications. 3G receives a signal from the nearest phone tower and is used for phone calls, messaging and data. When 4G was released it worked very similar to 3G, but with a faster internet connection and a lower latency – which is the time between when something is sent and received.

That said, 4G was supposed to be at least five times faster than the existing 3G services and theoretically, would provide download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.  Fast forward to now and, like all the previous generations, 5G will be significantly faster than 4G. This should allow for higher productivity across all capable devices with a theoretical download speed of up to 10,000 Mbps.

To put it into perspective, it will be like the difference of riding your bike to work – 4G – versus taking a Bullet Train to work – 5G.  OK, that might be a little over the top, but it does show that the difference will be very extreme, to say the least.

5G technology will utilize a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum called millimeter wave that allows data to be transferred much more rapidly than the lower-frequency band dedicated to 4G. The downside is that millimeter wave signals don’t travel as far: The new 5G networks will require many more – albeit smaller – antennas spaced closer together than previous wireless generations.

But on the plus side, the technology should be able to meet the vast needs for additional data transmission capability that are expected in the next several years. Gartner analysts estimate there will be nearly 21 billion internet-connected devices by the year 2020.1 More than three times as many as there were in 2016. That figure doesn’t just include phones, tablets, computers; devices such as home appliances, cars, dog collars, and many more are getting connected via the “Internet of Things”.

How will 5G effect Opengear devices in the future?

The main consequence of 5G is that it will enable/accelerate the migration of IT complexity to the edge of the infrastructure. More distribution of IT assets. If users want to maintain their current level of end-to-end reliability/availability, they will need to be able to extend it to the edge by implementing a Network Resilience layer. That means giving Network Engineers at the NOC the ability to reach devices at the edge, something enabled by Opengear solutions. As the levels of automation increase, users will need to also extend the reach of their management/monitoring tools. Opengear is preparing to be one step ahead of the market with its NetOps Automation System.

Today’s data centers are typically located in centralized locations. The farther away the data center is, the longer it takes to access that data. 5G networks help them quickly access information. So, no matter where these devices are located the need for visibility is even greater and can easily be accomplished with Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band technology.

To learn more about using wireless 4G or 5G to ensure network connectivity, visit our Failover to Cellular page.